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Building Community Blog

Guest Blog by by Peter Myers
Global Village Volunteer

Day One of our week in San Juan de la Maguana:

We were greeted at the hotel by our local Habitat coordinator, Nongelys, and our engineer (aka site sup) Roberto. We managed to pack all 18 of our Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity crew into two not-very-large vans for a half-hour ride to an outdoor factory where we'd be making concrete slabs for future houses. It was certainly a new construction technique for most of us ,but after a short training period we got the hang of it.

Twin Cities Habitat recently expanded its homeownership program to include the option of buying with Habitat on the open real estate market. Qualified homebuyers still receive the same education and support to become successful homeowners, and then they can work with a realtor of their choice on the open market. This allows folks to buy a home they love with a mortgage they can afford.

We caught up with a few people who bought homes with Habitat on the open market. They shared how long their home search took and some of their top tips.

A few years ago, Audua watched an A Brush with Kindness presentation during a Jordan Area Community Council board meeting, which she was a member of. She learned that this paint and repair program provides health and safety repairs that can help families maintain a safe and stable home.

“My kitchen was a wreck; the bathroom wasn’t functional and had mold,” Audua recalls. The exterior of her home also needed attention and much needed maintenance. It seemed as though the A Brush with Kindness program might be a perfect fit, so she applied. Her family met the programs criteria, and was eventually accepted!

On January 21, AmeriCorps members across Minnesota gathered in service to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving at a different organization than their own service site. Each year, these events are sponsored by the InterCorps Council of Minnesota, and all the State, National, and VISTA programs have the opportunity to come together and make an impact.

This year, members were serving as volunteers doing activities such as: sorting and collecting donations, event support, serving food, and other various tasks to help our communities on and around MLK Day!

Like many other nonprofits, Twin Cities Habitat is dedicated to making the most of every dollar entrusted to us. And just like any other local builder and developer, Twin Cities Habitat is at the mercy of the local real estate market when it comes to purchasing land to build our homes.

We also feel the same competition other homebuyers experience when it comes to purchasing homes that we repair or update and sell to our qualified buyers. That's why when an individual, company, congregation or other community group decides to donate a home, land, or other property in support of our mission, it's definitely something we celebrate.

"Believe it or not, land is one of our top needs and directly impacts our mission," said Laura Tanner, Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer at Habitat.

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